Wine, known as the nectar of the Gods in Greek mythology, and currently the most popular drink in the UK – especially amongst younger people, is a popular alcoholic tipple around the world. In 2018 over $14 billion worth was sold to United States consumers alone.
While those stats are related to wine bought and drank by individuals there is also the huge market of commercial wine sales to consider. With millions of cafes, bars and restaurants serving everything from the rarest reds to the cheapest fizz there are plenty of outlets where buying and storing wine is a key part of their business.
Despite the clear differences between private and trade wine buyers, such as quantities purchased or discounts negotiated there is one thing which every serious wine drinker or seller can make good use of – a top flight wine cooler (wine fridge).
The main benefit of a special cooler is that your wine is stored at the very best temperature for its type so the taste is the best it can be. Think of a wine cooler like a modern day wine cellar. If you would have used a cellar to store your bottles then you can definitely make use of a dedicated wine cooler.
Making a few calculations will help you decide if you still have some doubts; be brutally honest about the value of your entire wine collection, either current or intended and let that guide you. The rule of thumb is to not spend lots more on the wine cooler than the wine itself is worth.
How to find the best possible wine cooler for you
There are lots of different wine coolers on the market, with something to suit a variety of needs, budgets and expectations. So don’t rush into ordering the first thing you see, step back and do a little checking to make sure it will be a solid purchase that will serve you well for a long time.
Here are some ideas on how to make the perfect match.
Idea 1 – Consider what kind of wine user you are
If you tend to only drink a budget-friendly supermarket wine on a Friday evening then it’s probably better to go for a countertop model. If you are interested in wine, like to buy a variety of bottles, or run a business which involves selling wine to be consumed on the premises then a wine cooler will be a great asset.
Idea 2 – Select the style of wine cooler you need
The main initial choice is between a built-in and a freestanding wine cooler.
Built-ins are a good choice if you are designing the kitchen from scratch as they can be incorporated whereever you think is most convenient; but they will also fit under most countertops. The average built-in holds anywhere from 25-50 bottles, which would cost around $500, to a large capacity fridge costing thousands.
Freestanding wine coolers are equally good at their job and can also sit under counters, as well as pretty much anywhere else you chose to place them. They are cheaper than built-in units and can be purposed to look like regular kitchen furniture.
Idea 3 – Look at the different temperature zones models offer
If you only drink (or serve) one type of wine, say reds, or whites or fizzy versions then a single temperature wine cooler is fine. If you plan to have to style then go for a dual model, or splash out on a three temperature –zoned wine cooler that has a special, temperature-controlled area for champagne too.
Idea 4 – Shelves are important
The best way to make sure your wine cooler is flexible enough for all occasions is to buy a model with shelves that can be adjusted in both height and width. Standard shelving is designed, naturally, to fit standard wine bottles, but not all wines are the same and some are larger or taller than others which makes adjustable shelves really handy.
If possible it’s worth going for wooden rather than the metal versions which are more likely to scratch at or tear labels, and sliding shelves as that makes choosing a bottle much easier.
Idea 5 – Check out reviews
Both consumer and expert reviews are useful when you are researching which wine cooler to buy. Where possible look at reviews from a variety of sources, which could include blog articles fans or wine related experts have put together, as well as feedback on forums, and feedback left on the websites of respected manufacturers like EdgeStar.
Idea 6 – Educate yourself about the influence light has on wine
There are lots of products which include the instruction to keep it away from too much sunlight exposure, and wine is no different. To enjoy wine at its best it needs shading from light, so if you find a decent and affordable wine cooler with the facility to block UV rays grab it. Otherwise, just make sure you position the cooler in a place where it will not be catching the brunt of the sun and artificial kitchen or dining room light.
Idea 7 – Do you need any handy add-ons?
It’s not worth splashing out on extras you don’t really need but if you find them useful then things such as a door lock to protect your investment wine from sticky fingers, a temperature alarm to alert you to any potential calamity, or charcoal air filters which both absorb odours so your wine doesn’t get contaminated and help control the amount of dust that settle inside the cooler, making it more efficient.
You should have enough information, advice and guidance here to make a good start with your search for the very best wine cooler for yourself or your business, confident that what you choose will be a great asset for as long as you need it. There may be a lot of factors to consider, but no two people have the exact same wants and needs so it’s worth the investment of time at this early stage.